From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Former Rebel Commando Repents
By Bampia J. Bundu
Nov 18, 2010, 17:06

A former soldier of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) who latter transformed himself into a rebel commander has over the weekend begged for forgiveness over the crimes he committed during the decade long rebel war.

 

The reconciliation ceremony was focused on Mr. Mohamed Savage a former soldier of the Republic of Sierra Leone who in 1998 became rebel commander in the eastern district of Kono.

 

In his testimony during one of Fambul Tok International reconciliation programmes held in Kamara Chiefdom, Tombodu Court Barray Kono District, Mr. Mohamed Savage noted that he became commander in the jungle and confessed that lot of atrocities were committed during that era. The atrocities include arson and decapitation of civilian heads and hands.


The rebel commander maintained that since he was in control of some parts of the Kono district, he had no alternative but to claim responsibility for all atrocities that were committed. The ex-rebel commander called on the people of Kamara Chiefdom to forgive him for what had happened during the civil war years.


Savage explained how he was jailed for eight years, six months and eight days at the maximum Pademba Road Prison, adding that after his release he decided to come to the people of Kamara Chiefdom to ask for forgiveness for all the atrocities that he might have committed against them.


He maintained that with the help of Fambul Tok International, he hoped to once more reunite with the people of Kono.


In his statement, Paramount Chief Aiah Melvin Ngekia II of Kamara Chiefdom called on his people to accept the apology of Mohamed Savage who he said has openly accepted all the atrocities they committed during the war. Chief Aiah Ngekia noted that such a man should be embraced even though he noted it is difficult considering the level of atrocities that took place in the district.

 

In her contribution the chiefdom chairlady Madam Bondu Kaku maintained that even if the youths decided to mutilate Savages body, the lives that have been lost during the war will not be regained.

 

Speaking on behalf of the chiefdom women Madam Kaku noted that if the former commando has come out and asked for forgiveness, the people of Kamara chiefdom should accept it. She said that the former rebel commando is welcomed in the chiefdom in spite of all what has happened.


Meanwhile at a press conference held at the Fambul Tok International office in Koidu city, the Director Fambul Tok International Mr. John Caulker pointed out that they have been working with the people in the chiefdom in particular and the district in general to reconcile with Mr. Mohamed Savage who many see as some one that brought hardship to the Kono community. Mr. Caulker therefore called on the people to accept Savages apology.



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